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  1. Employee Resources
  2. News Room
  3. Back-to-School

Back-to-School During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Release Date: August 18, 2020

The start of the school year can be a stressful time.  This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has touched every part of our lives and increased back-to-school anxiety for many DHS employees and their families. Whether our kids are returning for in-person or virtual learning, the transition back to school will require a big adjustment for you and your children.

To help ease the stress and anxiety of this year’s back-to-school transition, consider the following tips:

  • Prepare in advance. It may be hard to know what to expect and how your routine will change. Map out a daily and weekly schedule and prepare your children’s supplies and technology before classes begin. This preparation will be help you stay flexible to better respond to any last-minute changes.
  • Start waking up earlier. Even in normal times, the transition from summer to the school year can be a rough one. Try waking your children earlier at least one week before school begins to help with the adjustment.
  • Arrive early. Whether you are walking to the bus stop or just turning on the computer, being ready early can give you and your children a head start that will ease stress and help them to settle in to the school day.
  • Talk about feelings. Stress levels will likely be high for everyone this year. Encourage your children to describe how they feel about the new school year and try to ease any fears they may have.
  • Express interest and be informed. Listen to what your children tell you about their classes and the school year. Stay informed about your own school’s policies so that you can understand your district’s decisions and why they may differ from other local schools.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a website with tips to help parents and family members support children with remote learning. The CDC also created checklists to help plan for a safe return to school, whether in-person or virtual.

Your Employee Assistance Program is here to help

Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to provide support to you and your family members during these challenging times. Your EAP can help you locate tutors, educational support programs, and programs for children as they return to school this year.

Your EAP also provides free and confidential support, resources, and information to help you manage your work and life responsibilities. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information, contact your Component EAP, or send an email to worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 08/18/2020
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